By now, it’s pretty common SEO knowledge that inbound links are the currency of the web. But beyond their powerful ability to help your website rank better in search engines, they also have somewhat of a hidden talent: to generate more referrals for your business.
Software documentation company Blue Mango is a testament to the success of this tactic. By implementing an inbound marketing plan focused on search engine optimization and link analytics, Blue Mango expanded on its previous reliance on word-of-mouth for marketing by pinpointing the sites and people referring to its website so it could develop valuable relationships and attract even more referrals. As a result of these and other inbound marketing efforts, Blue Mango increased revenue by 80% and increased organic traffic by 60% in 7 months .
How to Leverage Your Inbound Links for More Referrals
So how can you achieve similar success to Blue Mango? Here are a few tips to get you started…
1. Develop a Keyword Strategy
A carefully thought-out keyword strategy is an essential part of search engine optimization. Because the first step in getting found organically is optimizing your website for the keywords people are using to find your products/services, choosing the right keywords is critical to people finding your content and, ultimately, generating inbound links. Do keyword research using tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs.
2. Analyze Your Inbound Links
Once you start generating inbound links to your website, be sure to track them. First, nail down who is linking to you and whether certain inbound link sources are repeat offenders. Websites that link to you often could make great targets to help generate referrals, as more inbound links probably mean more interest in your business. In addition to determining who is linking to you, also analyze the authority of the sites that are linking to you.
Because an inbound link from a website with high SEO authority has more mojo than an inbound link from a website with low SEO authority, those inbound links should be more valuable to you. Certain tools can help you track and determine the authority of your inbound links.
3. Build Relationships With Inbound Link Sources
Think about it this way — if someone is linking to you, chances are they have a favorable view of your business or your products/services. Product evangelism, especially from third-party companies, can be a very powerful asset for your business, so why not try to develop and leverage the relationships you have with those companies who already think you worthy of an inbound link? Reach out to the sources of your inbound links and thank them for the link love. This will opens up a great opportunity to share more information about your business and its product/service offerings. Perhaps some of their customers would make good customers for you, too. By developing a relationship, you’re making those sources more likely to trust you and refer business to you.
4. Target Similar Types of Websites
Research indicates that multiple inbound linking domains, or websites, are more valuable for SEO than multiple links from the same domain(s). Consider taking note of the websites already linking to you, and see if you can develop relationships with other, similar types of websites that aren’t yet sending you link love. Generating inbound links from new referring websites is sure to boost your SEO cred.
5. Track Referral Growth:
As always, monitor and analyze your efforts. How else can you justify that the work you’re doing is generating more organic and referral traffic?
Have you had success with leveraging relationships you’ve built from inbound links for more traffic and referrals for your business?
About the Author
Pamela Vaughan is a Principal Marketing Manager, Website CRO & Copywriting at HubSpot. She is best known for introducing the concept of historical optimization, which increased organic search traffic and leads for HubSpot’s blog by more than 200%.